Wertheim Pianos are a major part of Australia’s music history and Leaver & Son takes great pride in the fact that we specialise in tuning, repairing and restoring these wonderful Australian-made instruments. Completely manufactured in this country, more than 18,000 upright and grand Wertheim Pianos were handcrafted in the Wertheim piano factory in Richmond (now the home of Channel 9 studios) between 1908 and 1935. Every year we restore between 15-20 Wertheim Pianos for private customers as well as for ourselves to sell in our piano store. We also tune between 50-75 Wertheim pianos every year for private customers and institutions. A unique and iconic hand-made piece of Australian history, Wertheim pianos were specifically manufactured for Australian conditions and are an extremely well-made instrument, renowned for their reliability and their ability to stay in tune for long periods of time. These pianos are now an extremely popular piano to restore in Australia as Australian-made musical instrument are becoming extremely rare. The story of Wertheim Pianos began when a young Hugo Wertheim was sent out from Frankfurt by his uncle Joseph to travel the world and spread the word of the family business: sewing
We recently enjoyed restoring this beautiful Australian-made Wertheim Gold Scroll Piano in our Norwood Workshop. Here is the story of its transformation…
This is a story about Eric Hawkes. Eric is the owner of Restored Pianos Pty Ltd, a piano and furniture restoration business in Hobart, Tasmania. At 74 years old and still in business, Eric owns one of the oldest surviving piano businesses in Australia. He’s been in business for over 55 years and I have known him for close to 25 of those. I first met Eric in 1993 when I was still at school. Eric was an old family friend and his piano restoration workshop at 247 Elizabeth Street, Hobart was across the road from my school bus stop; I will come back to this a little later. Eric is one of eight children. His father worked on the railways, his mother stayed at home to look after the children. Eric grew up in a small house in Warrane, a working-class suburb of greater Hobart, initially making a name for himself as a talented local footballer, he would later
From ugly ducking to beautiful swan! Here’s a glimpse into one of our piano restorations – a lovely 1938 Concord Concert Upright. <a class="mce-object" title="” href=”http://“>
Joe and the Leaver & Son team were delighted to link with the Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council during April to bring to life our community initiative, ‘Pianos in the Park’. With a business that’s all about pianos and fixing pianos, it’s probably not surprising to hear that we are regularly contacted to remove old and unwanted pianos from peoples’ homes. Whilst many of these pianos are still able to be played, for one reason or another, some are not suitable for restoration and end up being demolished for parts and consigned to the rubbish tip. Being passionate about pianos and an active community supporter/contributor, Joe thought there must be a better way to extend the life of these old pianos before putting them to rest. This sparked an idea to share the charm of these pianos with the community by placing them in public spaces for people to play. And so, in collaboration with the City of Norwood,
We were proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2017 Adelaide University ‘eChallenge Awards’, celebrating entrepreneurial achievement among the State’s youth! This year’s awards were held at the Adelaide Oval and showcased a range of ‘e’ ventures and ideas from some very talented SA young entrepreneurs. As the sponsor of the 2017 ‘Encouragement Award’, we were delighted to see two worthy participants, Jack and Sunny, both 16-years-old, receive this award for their participation in this year’s high school stream of the eChallenge. Both impressed us with their dedication, enthusiasm and achievement made without professional support or assistance. As a small family business that began from humble beginnings in the western suburbs of Adelaide all those years ago, we can really relate to building a business from the ground up. Congratulations and Well Done, Jack and Sunny! Great work and we wish you every success with your future business studies!
Joe’s business, Mobile Piano Service, is facing exciting times ahead and it’s a long way from where he started as a one person, mobile piano technician, working from his car. Early next year, Joe will take up a fantastic opportunity to expand his Adelaide-based business into France, as part of his involvement with the University of Adelaide’s entrepreneurial accelerator, ThincLab. Read more here: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/thinclab/founder-journeys/mobile-piano-service
Joe, the owner of Leaver Pianos, recently sat down and talked to Andrew Montesi about his journey of learning to restore pianos, becoming a police officer, and opening a full restoration workshop and store in Adelaide. To listen to the pod cast, click on the following link:
Our latest event in store was packed to the rafters! We were lucky enough for the University of Adelaide’s EU Centre for Global Affairs to host their latest cultural event at our store, which featured the lovely Adelaide pianist and author, Anna Goldsworthy. Anna performed an absolutely beautiful selection of European compositions, putting a story against each of the pieces to really make for an entertaining and fascinating evening. One lucky guest went home with a signed copy of Anna’s book Piano Lessons – as it was hidden in their piano stool seat! Professor Nick Jose from the University of Adelaide spoke about pianos being the first devices to disseminate music, before the wireless and the gramophone, the CD and the smart phone. Guests of the EU Centre and guests of Mobile Piano Service enjoyed, along with the music, Spanish and Italian wines provided by Bottega Rotolo Food & Wine, as well as some delicious cheeses. Thank you to everyone who attended
“I recommend this business to all my students, parents and colleagues who are looking to purchase a piano at an affordable price. Not only do they sell pianos but they also offer piano tuning and restoration. Joe and his wife and team offer professional, honest advice and genuinely care about their customers. Highly recommended!”
Director of Professional Music Academy of SA
Fantastic service. This business goes above and beyond for their customers.